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Famous People Who Died in 2003

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For one reason or another, we as human beings seem to be fascinated by celebrity deaths. Every year we mourn the loss of famous people who pass away, and 2003 was no exception. Americans grieved as beloved TV icon John Ritter passed away from a fatal aortic dissection. Here's our list of the most notable people to die in 2003, ordered by how well-known they were.

All walks of famous people are on this list, including actors, athletes, musicians, politicians and more.Although the rich and famous are just like the rest of us, it's alarming how many of them have their lives cut short because of drug overdoses or other accidents. Still others live out many long years only to succumb to diseases like cancer late in life.

Which celebrities died in 2003? Scroll down and see for yourself.
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  • Bob Hope

    Pneumonia
    Leslie Townes Hope, KBE, KC*SG, KSS (May 29, 1903 – July 27, 2003), known professionally as Bob Hope, was an American stand-up comedian, vaudevillian, actor, singer, dancer, athlete, and author....  more
  • Katharine Hepburn

    Natural causes
    Katharine Houghton Hepburn (May 12, 1907 – June 29, 2003) was an American actress. Known for her fierce independence and spirited personality, Hepburn was a leading lady in Hollywood for more than 60...  more
  • John Ritter

    Cardiovascular disease, Aortic dissection
    Jonathan Southworth Ritter (September 17, 1948 – September 11, 2003) was an American actor and comedian. He was the son of the singing cowboy star Tex Ritter and the father of actors Jason and Tyler...  more
  • Johnny Cash

    Diabetes mellitus
    John R. "Johnny" Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author. He is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold...  more
  • Charles Bronson

    Alzheimer's disease, Pneumonia
    Charles Bronson (born Charles Dennis Buchinsky; Lithuanian: Karolis Dionyzas Bučinskis; November 3, 1921 – August 30, 2003) was an American actor. He was often cast in the role of a police officer,...  more
  • Curt Hennig

    Drug overdose
    Curtis Michael Hennig (March 28, 1958 – February 10, 2003) was an American professional wrestler, manager, and color commentator who performed under the name of Curt Hennig for the American Wrestling...  more
  • Gregory Peck

    Bronchopneumonia, Pneumonia
    Eldred Gregory Peck (April 5, 1916 – June 12, 2003) was an American actor. He was one of the most popular film stars from the 1940s to the 1960s. Peck received five Academy Award for Best Actor...  more
  • Idi Amin Dada Oumee (; c. 1925 – 16 August 2003) was a Ugandan military officer who served as the President of Uganda from 1971 to 1979. Popularly known as the "Butcher of Uganda," he is considered...  more
  • Buddy Hackett

    Diabetes mellitus
    Buddy Hackett (born Leonard Hacker; August 31, 1924 – June 30, 2003) was an American comedian and actor. His best remembered roles include Marcellus Washburn in The Music Man (1962); Benjy Benjamin...  more
  • Nell Carter

    Cardiovascular disease, Diabetes mellitus
    Nell Carter (born Nell Ruth Hardy; September 13, 1948 – January 23, 2003) was an American singer and actress. Beginning her career in 1970, Carter started in theater; singing and later crossed over...  more
  • Suzy Parker (born Cecilia Ann Renee Parker; October 28, 1932 – May 3, 2003) was an American model and actress active from 1947 into the early 1960s. Her modeling career reached its zenith during the...  more
  • Eugenia Lincoln "Jinx" Falkenburg (January 21, 1919 – August 27, 2003) was an American actress and model. She married journalist and publicist Tex McCrary in 1945. Known as "Tex and Jinx", the couple...  more
  • Elia Kazan

    Natural causes
    Elia Kazan (; born Elias Kazantzoglou (Greek: Ηλίας Καζαντζόγλου); September 7, 1909 – September 28, 2003) was a Greek-American director, producer, writer and actor, described by The New York Times...  more
  • Art Carney

    Natural causes
    Arthur William Matthew "Art" Carney (November 4, 1918 – November 9, 2003) was an American actor in film, stage, television and radio. He is best known for playing sewer worker Ed Norton opposite...  more
  • Stu Hart

    Arthritis, Diabetes mellitus
    Stewart Edward Hart, (May 3, 1915 – October 16, 2003) was a Canadian professional wrestler, wrestling booker, promoter, coach and trainer, football player, amateur wrestler, and sailor. He is best...  more
  • Donald O'Connor

    Heart failure, Cardiovascular disease
    Donald David Dixon Ronald O'Connor (August 28, 1925 – September 27, 2003) was an American actor, dancer, and singer. He came to fame in a series of films in which he co-starred alternately with...  more
  • Robert Stack

    Myocardial infarction
    Robert Stack (born Charles Langford Modini Stack, January 13, 1919 – May 14, 2003) was an American actor, sportsman, and television host. Known for his deep, commanding voice and presence, he...  more
  • Jeanne Crain

    Myocardial infarction
    Jeanne Elizabeth Crain (May 25, 1925 – December 14, 2003) was an American actress whose career spanned from 1943 to 1975. She received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in the 1949 film...  more
  • James Strom Thurmond Sr. (December 5, 1902 – June 26, 2003) was an American politician who served for 48 years as a United States Senator from South Carolina. He ran for president in 1948 as the...  more
  • Nina Simone

    Cancer, Breast cancer
    Eunice Kathleen Waymon (February 21, 1933 – April 21, 2003), known professionally as Nina Simone (), was an American singer, songwriter, musician, arranger, and civil rights activist. Her music...  more
  • Jonathan Brandis

    Suicide by hanging, Suicide
    Jonathan Gregory Brandis (April 13, 1976 – November 12, 2003) was an American actor. Beginning his career as a child model, Brandis moved on to acting in commercials and subsequently won television...  more
  • Michael Jeter

    AIDS, Asphyxia
    Michael Jeter (August 26, 1952 – March 30, 2003) was an American actor of film, stage, and television. His television roles included Herman Stiles on the sitcom Evening Shade from 1990 until 1994 and...  more
  • Lana Clarkson

    Murder, Gunshot
    Lana Jean Clarkson (April 5, 1962 – February 3, 2003) was an American actress and fashion model. During the 1980s, she rose to prominence in several sword-and-sorcery films. In 2003, she was shot and...  more
  • Bill Mauldin

    Alzheimer's disease
    William Henry "Bill" Mauldin (; October 29, 1921 – January 22, 2003) was an American editorial cartoonist who won two Pulitzer Prizes for his work. He was most famous for his World War II cartoons...  more
  • Daniel Patrick Moynihan

    Surgical complications
    Daniel Patrick "Pat" Moynihan (March 16, 1927 – March 26, 2003) was an American politician, sociologist, and diplomat. A member of the Democratic Party, he represented New York in the United States...  more